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Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) will next year start electrification of 88 villages through the solar power programme.
Principal Energy Officer in the Department of Energy Affairs, Kesetsenao Molosiwa said the project is expected to take five years.
He said in an interview that BPC would undertake the project as it is already engaged in rural electrification in the country.
It is found prudent that BPC could best do this by simply integrating Photovoltaic (PV), solar electrification, as part of its rural electrification programme.
Molosiwa said solar power is seen as an alternative source of power in rural areas more especially those far from the grid electricity.
He said the current programme is heavily subsidised and customers will only be connected on receipt of payment Customers will not owe the programme as they will only be connected on receipt of their dues or required contributions.
The government of Botswana, Molosiwa said, continues its endeavour of promoting the use of solar energy.
He said Botswana is among the highest solar radiation regimes of the world. From an economic and environmental point of view it is appropriate to promote the use of solar energy in Botswana.
Current research findings by Somarelang Tikologo show a 38 per cent reduction in household electricity bills when solar energy is used.
Meanwhile, the Southern African Power Pool is concerned that SADC would experience an upsurge in electricity demand in the next seven years against a background of an anticipated power shortage in 2007. BOPA
News date: 25/09/2006